Dodi (Dorothy) was blessed to grow up on a farm in Minden, Nebraska. After marrying her artist husband, John, their family lived in the country near John’s hometown of Weeping Water, Nebraska. Their family moved to Greenville, NC in 1989 following a promotion in John’s work in a mining company, Texasgulf at the time.
Dodi majored in art education in Nebraska and has been on a journey of growing in her art since childhood. She taught art in the public school system for two years and then stepped into a 32-year career of teaching piano while continuing to pursue growth in her painting. She is drawn to a variety of subject matter and desires to tell a story in every painting. Her paintings are usually filled with color and light and soft edges. Although she has explored a variety of medium, she has found oil to best suit her personality and style of painting. Dodi has won numerous awards, has been published in 3 books and is represented at Riverwalk Gallery in Washington, NC. She has studied with numerous professional artists and enjoys plein-air and studio painting. She credits her early love for painting to her paternal grandmother who provided her first opportunities to paint with oil at the age of 13.
Over the past 8 years, since retirement, I have been searching for a different style of painting. I think everyone has had the experience of photographing a sunset with their phone or camera, only to have their excitement fall short when they try to share the pictures with someone. I wanted to figure out a way to push my paintings to: 1. stand out from traditional art and 2. express my positive, happy, happy, happy feeling in life. I found it. I branded this new style “Open Expressionism”. I really enjoy painting in this new method and have been amazed to see how viewers are drawn to it.
So, what makes “Open Expressionism” unique? The definition for expressionism is art that seeks to express an emotional experience, rather than physical reality. Forms maybe distorted or exaggerated, and colors are intensified. I did not learn this style by imitating the past masters or taking workshops. I discovered my love for this style by experimenting with different painting supplies and methods. My painting goal is to go beyond photography, to go beyond realism and express what I see and what I feel at a high energy level.
The “open” in Open Expressionism indicates that my paintings are inspired by being outside, in the beautiful open air. I also use “open” to describe a quick, bold approach, completing the painting in one session. The early impressionist painters built up their paintings with layers of narrow brush strokes, creating several planes of color and light. I use a different approach, working with a wide palette knife and using as few strokes as possible, thick, fast and bold. After a transparent under-coating, I apply a single layer of paint. I use a limited palette of only 4 or 5 colors, so all the colors you see in my painting are custom-created just for that subject.
I hope the fast, loose, thick, confident knife strokes on my paintings and the unashamed use of color provides an opportunity for the viewers to see, feel and experience a new emotional sensation, different from traditional paintings. I also hope my paintings encourage fellow artists to believe they too can be successful experimenting with their medium and trying something new.
1 of 2 Happy Happy Happy Painters,